If alcohol is not part of your lifestyle, or if you are giving your liver a needed break, the iced tea or lemonade route can get boring. Here are some fabulous moctails to give your end of summer soiree’s a little zing.

For a low-carb take, make the simple syrups with stevia or erithritoyl (brand name Swerve). Of course, you can always add a shot, if the spirit so moves you.

Recipes and photos courtesy of Rachael Ray Everyday.

Stawberry-Basil Virgin Daiquiri

 

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish/Makes
25 minutes4 daquiris

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp. for the glasses
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 lb. frozen strawberries
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus 2 tbsp. for the glasses (from about 3 limes)
  • Fresh strawberries, for garnish

Preparation

1. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar, the chopped basil, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes; strain.

2. In a blender, puree the basil syrup, frozen berries, ice, and 1/4 cup lime juice. Add water if needed to thin the mixture.

3. Pour the remaining 2 tbsp. lime juice onto another plate. Spread the remaining 2 tbsp. sugar on a plate. Dip the rims of 4 glasses in the lime juice, then in the sugar. Divide the daiquiri among the glasses. Garnish with basil leaves and fresh berries.

 

Grapefruit, Juniper & Tonic

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish/Makes
25 minutes4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. juniper berries
  • 2 cups fresh grapefruit juice, plus wedges for garnish (from about 3 grapefruits)
  • 2 cups tonic water
  •  Ice

Preparation

1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, juniper berries, and 1/3 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes; strain.

2. Divide the juniper syrup, grapefruit juice, and tonic water among 4 glasses filled with ice; stir. Garnish with grapefruit wedges.

Mango-Cardamom Colada

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish/Makes
25 minutes4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cardamom pods, cracked, plus ground cardamom for garnish
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup mango juice
  • 4 cups ice
  • Fresh mango slices, for garnish
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Preparation

1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, cardamom pods, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes; strain.

2. In a blender, puree the cardamom syrup, coconut cream, mango juice, and ice. Divide among 4 colada glasses. Garnish with ground cardamom, mango slices, and maraschino cherries.

 

Blueberry-Rosemary Fizz

 

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish: 25 minutes /Servings: 4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 3 strips orange zest, plus slices for garnish
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • Ice
  • Seltzer
  • Fresh blueberries, for garnish

Preparation

1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, chopped rosemary, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes; strain.

2. In a blender, puree the thawed frozen berries with their juices; strain.

3. Divide the rosemary syrup and berry puree among 4 glasses filled with ice. Top with seltzer. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, orange slices, and fresh berries.

 

 

Faux Kir Royale

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish: 10 minutes /Servings: Makes 4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1 bottle (25.4 oz.) sparkling apple cider, chilled
  • Angostura bitters
  • Fresh raspberries, for garnish
  • 4 lemon twists, for garnish

Preparation

1. In a blender, puree the thawed frozen berries with their juices; strain.

2. Divide the berry puree among 4 flutes. Top with cider and a few dashes of bitters. Garnish with fresh berries and lemon twists

 

Lemon-Lime and Lavender Sour

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish: 35 minutes /Servings: Makes 4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest, for garnish, plus 1/3 cup juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tsp. lime zest, for garnish, plus 1/4 cup juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1 tsp. dried culinary lavender
  • 2 egg whites
  • Ice
  • Club soda

Preparation

1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, and lavender to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes; strain. Let cool completely.

2. In a cocktail shaker, shake the lavender syrup and egg whites until foamy, about 20 times. Add ice and shake until chilled, about 10 times. Strain into 4 coupe glasses. Top with club soda. Garnish with the lemon and lime zest.

 

Fennel Cucumber Spritzer

Photography by Johnny Miller
Recipe by Charles Grayauskie
Start to Finish: 25 minutes /Servings: Makes 4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 5 Persian cucumbers, chopped, plus shaved ribbons for garnish
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • Ice
  • Club soda

Preparation

1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, fennel seeds, and 1/3 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes; strain.

2. In a food processor, puree the chopped cucumbers; strain.

3. Divide the fennel syrup, cucumber puree, and lemon juice among 4 glasses filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with cucumber ribbons.

 

Viola’ ! Party ready. With or without the spirits.

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